Letters to the Editor

Letters to the EditorTwo Patale sites can cause confusion

Your recent article on the San Pedro y San Pablo de Patale Mission shed light on a much-overlooked part of Tallahassee history. However, it neglected to mention one fact which may cause confusion about the location and history of our new neighborhood, Mission San Miguel. There are actually two Patale Mission sites in Tallahassee. One is on the property once owned by Mr. Dickinson on Buck Lake Road. This area, which a former owner seemed to relate to unfortunate events, is nowhere near Mission San Miguel. Our neighborhood is three miles to the east near the second Patale Mission, known as the O’Connell site.

For unknown reasons, the Patale Mission changed locations during its approximately 70-year history. It is difficult to determine which was the later settlement, and therefore the site of the 1704 massacre, but the evidence implies that the O’Connell site was the later mission. Rather than being cursed by the location of his home, Mr. Stephen O’Connell’s life seems to have been a blessed one. He was a chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court and served as the president of the University of Florida. He was also a devout Catholic who had several audiences with Pope John Paul II.

Our neighborhood is adjacent to the O’Connell site. It sits on land once owned by Dr. Charlie Wall, a Thomasville physician who retired to Tallahassee in the 1950s. He and another family donated the 600 acres in Gadsden County now known as the Wallwood Boy Scout Reservation.

At Mission San Miguel, we are pleased to be located at the crossroads of so much local history. We look forward to continuing the faith traditions that first took root in Florida nearly 400 years ago, through communities like San Pedro y San Pablo de Patale.

Robin Fennema
Mission San Miguel Homeowners Association

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